Francis Annan Affotey was born and raised in Accra, Ghana. As part of a large family, he found childhood pleasure through drawing and painting. He graduated from Accra’s Ghanatta College of Art and Design, winning three of the school’s five top awards — for still life, imagination and composition, and abstract drawing.Annan joined the Revolution Art Organization and displayed his work in several exhibitions in Accra. In 2013, Annan helped found the African Young Artist Organization (AYAO), which is dedicated to supporting African youth in the arts through programs and exhibitions.Annan’s works are based on abstract concepts, pointillism, and landscapes. Also, using African cloth and paint, he has created a fun and unique style of clothing. In addition to speaking English, Annan is fluent in Twi, Ga, Ewe and Hausa. And he is a master salsa dancer.In May of 2014, he came to America — specifically, to the Milwaukee area — where on July 3, 2014 he married Sarah Ehlinger, who had attended the University of Ghana and worked on a sanitation project there.
James Dallas’ “Dayscapes” consist of art work created on the computer with the use of original hand drawings and photography. His meticulously crafted works meld sound, abstraction on and locations. The artist gets his inspiration and imagery from the Koran, the Bible, jazz music, architecture, sky and space and the objects that fill it. His works are boldly expressive and deeply introspective.
James Dallas is a Milwaukee-based composer, visual artist, saxophonist and writer who produces music and visual and digital images for web application, video installation, cd recordings and live performance. He has a B.A. in graphic design from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His work artistically includes digital imaging web design, oil painting, poster and digital art. His early artistic training came from his sister Lourine and brother Calvin. Noted Milwaukee artist Sylvester Sims helped helped James refine his drawing and painting skills.
Kevin Boatright, who grew up in Milwaukee, creates gritty, straight-ahead paintings with urban echoes. A signature technique of his is the use of acrylic caulk to give his works texture. He is arts coordinator at Ayzha Fine Arts Gallery & Boutique. He studied at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.
“I am also concerned with capturing and showing the existence of spirit”
He says: “I focus on spontaneity and directness of application. I am also concerned with capturing and showing the existence of spirit and interior emotional realities by portraying an unparalleled emotional darkness.” Kevin has been exhibiting his works since 2004. In 2013, his “Babies” was featured at the Milwaukee Art Museum as part of the “30 Americans/Wisconsin 30” exhibit. His works can be found in the collections of a good number of art patrons in Milwaukee, among them the Holy Redeemer Church of God in Christ and the Daniels-Mardak Boys & Girls Club. Kevin also does body art.
Get to know me
Born to artistic parents, I consequently took my artistic inspiration from my home and social milieu. My perception of the world around me sharpened and I became critical of the world around me. However, my academic training could not obliterate my earlier vision. Before I enrolled in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi where I obtained a BA (art) Honors in 1994, I had already sold a number of paintings. I continued with a postgraduate program and obtained an MFA degree, specializing in Painting in the same university in 1997. I am presently undertaking a research in Studio Practice at the University of Education, Winneba.
My works cover both ends of the art spectrum-representation and abstraction. Synthesis of these develops with the use of figures, integrating formal components, traditional African motives and myths and all other components of art as they naturally come to me. My experiences and perceptions culminate into emotions, resulting in a tender and passionate temperament that find expression on the canvas and other materials used. In doing this, certain ideological, intellectual and formal concerns are shared. Emotions and thoughts sought visual devices and vocabularies, thus developing a symbolic technique which defines my world of art. I express myself in watercolor, oil, acrylics and recycle materials.
My work makes an insight into social, political and cultural issues through intellectual and aesthetic exercise drawing primary inspirations from my African history and heritage. I engage whatever subject matter comes to me and its treatment does not obliterate my concept of visual construction. In art I find expression of my narrations and views, immortalizing what are normally overlooked in everyday life. I make use of simple and familiar elements of life in my work.
Contrast and contradictions, which resonate and restore order and harmony in nature, are the concrete components of creative trajectory which direct my artistic ambitions and capabilities. This is aptly demonstrated in my juxtaposition of light and shade as well as contrasting colors to achieve my design disposition in art. I have found in recent times a new intersection between painting and sculpture. From this will evolve new areas of creative works.
1992 Beautiful Ghana
1993 Eu Art Show
1995 High Art, Low Art
2000 Colores Of Ghana
2003 Sound Of Clor
2005 New Works-Buku
2013 Sound Of MusicShangrila Hotel, Accra
National Museum, Accra
Golde Tulip Hotel, Accra
National Theatre, Accra
National Museum, Accra
African Gallery, Chicago IL
Whispers Gallery, Barbados
Galleria Africana, Accra
L’ Acra, Benin
Rosenthal Gallery, FSU, Fayetteville NCEU Art Competition, 3rd Prize, 1993
The Prestigious Bartimeus Award, 2000
Vermont Studio Center, 2000
Wall of Heroes, Fayetteville NC
The impact I want to make in photography is to make images that are different, but, well worth the view.– Marvin Wells
I was interested in Art before I was old enough to ride public transit alone. Thanks to my older brother, I was exposed to Chicago’s museums, parks, architecture, lakefront and great music. Art was everywhere and I was sketch ing it. But it was taking me too long. When I picked up a camera, I suddenly realized that many of the same images I was trying to draw could be created using that tool and a darkroom. I needed to learn the camera and how to make prints the way that I envisioned them. I eventually enrolled at Columbia College because of its fine arts photography program. As I honed my own fine arts photography skills, I began working in the commercial side of the craft. I could function well there, but my heart was not in it. I wanted to produce prints that expressed MY perceptions.The darkroom became my fantasy world. I consider myself as much of a printmaker as I do a photographer. What’s different now is that the digital world has opened up a whole new world of creativity. I alter my photographs with the idea of moving the “untouched image” toward the surreal, the abstract or the unrecognizable. As an African American photographer, I face the same issues as other African American artists: not being acknowledged within the “global” artistic community and being undervalued. Because so many people take pictures, recognizing photography, as a fine art, is a harder sell. The impact I want to make in photography is to make images that are different, but, well worth the view. I tend to shy away from “pretty pictures.” My photographs tend to focus on things that would be considered otherwise very mundane if not for my artistic manipulation of the image. I want viewers to ponder whether my images are drawings or photographs. I want to catch their attention and have them ponder how it was done. I want them to decide, in some cases, for themselves, what they see.